Patient Story

Theresa’s story: ‘Our little miracle baby’ at 29 weeks

Tess - News Center

When Theresa Matthews developed a headache and tightness in her chest last fall while pregnant, she got a blood pressure check at work. 

“It was 180/110,” she said, recalling a number that’s well above the healthy range. Theresa went to a local emergency department, where she was told she’d need to be transferred to a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit. That was Northside Hospital Cherokee

Tess signTheresa developed preeclampsia and needed continuous monitoring, but her condition didn’t improve. Doctors were forced to perform an emergency Cesarean section. 

Ella Kate Matthews was born at 29 weeks. She weighed 2 pounds, 13 ounces. Dr. Yvonne Scott Miller was the physician. 

Theresa wasn’t able to see Ella immediately after the delivery, but she said the nurses took her to the Special Care Nursery as soon as Theresa was able to leave recovery. 

“Seeing Ella for the first time was unreal,” Theresa said. “She was attached to so many machines. She was intubated, had a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line, CPAP, feeding tube, oxygen and heart rate monitors.” 

The first 72 hours were crucial but Ella made it through and tests showed good results. Still, there were moments her oxygen and heart rates dropped, postponing her go-home date. After 75 days, on Jan. 21, she came home to Theresa and Brett Matthews. 

“Today, Ella is doing so well,” Theresa said. “She is eating up a storm and gaining weight like crazy. She has such a big personality and is really silly like her daddy. She’s very much a sweetheart but feisty at the same time. Brett and I are so lucky to be her parents. 

“She’s our little miracle baby.” 

Learn about maternity excellence at Northside.


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